Final Jeopardy: In the Dictionary

The Final Jeopardy question (7/29/2013) in the category “In the Dictionary” was:

The last entry in the Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary is used to represent this annoying sound.

Today is the first match of the Kid’s Tournament. Each winner this week wins a minimum of $15,000. Second and third place prizes are the usual. Competing today are: Erin Wenokur from Lafayette, CA; Jonathan Shoemaker, from Austin, TX; and Zoë Assasie, from Urbana, MD.

Jonathan found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “Biblical People.” He was in the lead with $2,000, $800 ahead of Zoë in second place. He made it a true Daily Double and he was RIGHT.

Before this strong guy’s birth, an angel came to his mother saying, “No razor shall come on his head.” show

Jonathan finished in the lead with $7,400. Erin was second with $4,600 and Zoe was last with $4,200.

Zoë found the first Double Jeopardy Daily Double in “Have Some Water.” She was in a tie with Erin for second place. At $6,200, they both had $4,400 less than Jonathan’s lead. She bet $600 and she was RIGHT.

The greatest width of this ocean spans about 6,200 miles between Africa & Australia. show

Zoë then immediately found the last Daily Double in “Presidents & First Ladies.” Now alone in second place with $6,800, she was $3,800 behind Jonathan’s lead. She bet $1,200 but could not come up with a guess so she was WRONG.

He didn’t like that his initials spelled HUG so he switched his first & middle names. show

Jonathan finished in the lead with $14,200. Zoë was next with $9,600 and Erin was in third place with $5,000.

NONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


This clue might even have confused some adults, as the expression ‘catch some zz’s” just means to get some sleep, and the “zzz” is often used in comics to indicate a sleeping person. However, the Random House Dictionary does indeed define “zzz” as “used to represent the sound of a person snoring.” (Free Dictionary: zzz)

Erin didn’t have a guess. She lost $5,000 and finished with zero.

Zoë wrote down “zzz,” the dictionary entry. She lost $3,400, finishing with $6,200.

Jonathan wrote down “zip.” He bet $5,100 so he ended up with $9,100 and he gets to take home $15 grand.

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4 Responses

  1. Stephen S says:

    Ed M has it right. “Zzz” is the word and represents the sound as well. The rigidity of Alex and his judges is bad in situations where there is ambiguity, and Alex’s inability to reverse himself when he is wrong is shameful. My wife and I will no longer watch the show because children are being hurt by this nonsense. Actually, the “zzz” word in common parlance today usually represents sleep, not snoring.

  2. VJ says:

    I have to wonder, though, if anybody has read the info part of this review. It lists the definition in the Random House Webster’s Dictionary: “used to represent the sound of a person snoring.” The issue appears to be with the dictionary, not Jeopardy.

  3. KH says:

    I think I have to agree with Ed M. Does ‘zzz’ ONLY represent a person snoring? I thought it was sleeping personally….I’m sure they put ‘zzz’s above little children’s heads in comic books and more than likely, they do not snore.

    I wouldn’t have gotten it right either….and I’m almost forty. That was not a good FJ question for Kids Week. Booooooo!!

  4. Ed M says:

    bizarre final question, and ambiguous in that ‘zzz’ was the word which was properly identified and is the annoying sound, snoring is the SOURCE of the sound, NOT the sound, ‘zzz’ is the sound and that is why it is the dictionary. Zoe should have won and it should be corrected as such.